Journey from the consolation of dwelling with these 11 books
If you usually go on vacation in the last two weeks of the year, this year you may feel deprived.
This is where books can be useful and provide an opportunity to mentally escape. Of course, reading about a place isn’t as good as its actual presence, but right now, reading at home is safer than taking to the streets. With that in mind, here are 11 book trip ideas courtesy of local writers.
The late Lake Oswego writer Brian Doyle spent part of his early adulthood in Chicago as a magazine writer, and his novel Chicago reads like a pink reminder of the late 1970s era when everyone the narrator meets (even a dog from the neighborhood) The Power of Human Language) has a story to tell, and the Windy City is a place of broad-shouldered, invigorating adventure.
Cari Luna’s poignant “Everyday Revolution” by the Portland author is set in the midst of a 1990s squatter community on the Lower East Side of New York City and is reminiscent of a social justice movement that seems pretty relevant today.
Younger readers can join the literary journeys with Portlander Renée Watson’s mid-range novel Some Places More Than Others, in which a girl from Black Portland takes a birthday trip to what is now New York City, where her father’s family lives and meets them and their world in Harlem.
Brew a cup of Kona coffee with Volcanoes, Palms, and Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i by Portland writer Liz Prato, who grew up in the 50th state. This collection is partly an ode to a cherished place, partly a memory and partly a meditation on the perspectives and the self that visitors project onto the islands.
The playwright Octavio Solis from southern Oregon takes the reader into his memoir “Retablos: Stories from a Life on the Border”, a series of carefully composed vignettes, into the El Paso of his childhood.
The romantics can head to Alaska in Sue Pethick’s “Alaskan Catch,” writer from Vancouver, where the heat is between an aspiring marine biologist, a fisherman and a big, lovable dog.
Too long since your last trip to California? Lydia Kiesling’s sharply drawn novel “The Golden State” will conjure up the high desert east of San Francisco – and she now lives in Portland.
Travel across the Pacific to China with Daniel Nieh’s Beijing Payback, a Portland thriller. In this thriller, the son of a Californian restaurateur in a suburb learns about the secret life of his late father as a member of an international crime syndicate – with unfinished business.
As long as you are in China, you will travel south to Shanghai via the novel “Besotted” by Portland author Melissa Duclos, which is about two young women who have fled from their former selves to the Shanghai emigration community in America.
Youngsters can experience their own literary adventure with Virginia Boecker’s young adult novel, “An Assassin’s Guide to Love and Treason,” a mix of Shakespeare and star-crossed love in Elizabethan London.
Travel the world with Noah Strycker, who wanted to see as many bird species as possible in a single year from his home base in Creswell. He tells this task in “Birdwatching Without Borders: An Obsession, a Search and the Greatest Year” in the World. “
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